Björn Hammarfelt

Björn Hammarfelt

Senior Lecturer

My research is situated in the intersection between information science and sociology of science, with the organization and communication of knowledge in focus. Bibliometrics—quantitative analysis of publications and their characteristics—was the main topic of my thesis, but my research interests span a wider spectrum. My academic interests can be divided into three main topics: scholarly communication, organization of research and the governance of science.

Scholarly communication and changing research practices

My interest in scholarly communication is motivated by rapid changes in the dissemination of academic research that is currently taking place. The switch from print to digital, the establishment of new dissemination channels and the growing demand for open access to scholarly publications are some of the changes that affect the infrastructure of research. In particular I find it interesting to study how these developments affect the researchers involved and how research practices of specific fields change.

The organization of research fields

I am also interested in how research fields are organized and how the social and intellectual organization of disciplines is reflected in communication and citation patterns. My research in this area has foremost been focused on publication practices and citation patterns, but recently I have developed an interest in how new ‘altmetric’ measures can be applied on specific research fields.

The governance of science

The further demand for accountability in contemporary society is also apparent in science. My interest in this area is fuelled by the current debate about how academic research should be evaluated, with bibliometrics measures being one of the options. These measures are used not only in major evaluation schemes, but also in university rankings, in the allocation of funds on a local basis, in the recruitment of academic personnel and in the calculation of ’impact’ for researchers (the H-index) and journals (impact factor).Thus, the measurement of impact and ’excellence’ is an intrinsic part in contemporary academia.

Currently I am involved in two projects that investigates how academic research is affected by bibliometric indicators: Measuring science: The use of metrics in assessing impact, innovation and excellence in modern academia (VR international postdoc 2014-2017, in collaboration with colleagues at CWTS, Leiden University) and Science audited: The use of performance indicators on academic research, practices and effects (RJ 2015-2018, together with Fredrik Åström, Lund University). On a local Swedish level these issues are addressed in the project: Bibliometrins institutionalisering vid svenska forskningsbibliotek (Svea Bredals Fond, 2014).


E-mail: bjorn.hammarfelt@hb.se